HLN's Dr. Drew Apologizes For Raising “Unsubstantiated” Report That “Brain Injury” Caused Clinton's Debate Delay

Dr. Drew: “I Violated HLN And CNN's Editorial Standards And I Was Wrong”

HLN host Dr. Drew Pinsky has apologized for citing a Breitbart.com report raising questions about Hillary Clinton's health, saying it “violated HLN and CNN's editorial standards and I was wrong to have mentioned the unsubstantiated report.”

During the third Democratic presidential debate, Clinton returned to the stage late following a commercial break.  According to The New York Times, she had visited the restroom.

But Breitbart News detailed a far more sinister -- and entirely baseless -- theory. Their January 6 report quoted right-wing radio host John Cardillo -- a Dr. Drew contributor -- who said that according to a “strong source,” Clinton's absence was due to a “flare up of problems from [a] brain injury,” a reference to her hospitalization for a concussion and blood clot she suffered in December 2012. The piece also included conspiracies about Clinton's health from notorious dirty trickster Roger Stone.

During the January 19 edition of his HLN program, Pinsky referenced that report, saying that “an anonymous source told Breitbart.com that, that delay was due to something related to her past brain injury.” Later in the program Pinsky hosted Cardillo, who said that he had provided that information and that the story was “predominantly my source.” Pinsky later noted that the story “is hearsay. We cannot confirm it.”

In a statement posted on HLN's website following the broadcast, Pinsky apologized for raising the report:

“Earlier tonight, I mistakenly raised an anonymously sourced report about Hillary Clinton's health. By doing so, I violated HLN and CNN's editorial standards and I was wrong to have mentioned the unsubstantiated report. I regret the error and will make sure, in the future, to apply the rigorous editorial standards we have in place here. I apologize to our viewers and Secretary Clinton for falling short tonight.”

Following initial reports of Clinton's concussion, right-wing media accused Clinton of faking her condition in order to avoid testifying on the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. According to her physician, Clinton “had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion,” and she is in “excellent physical condition.”